CARPENTER CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS | HARVARD UNIVERSITY
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EXHIBITION: MEASURE FOR MEASURE
November 3—December 22, 2011
Zig Gron | Katrina McElroy | Felicity Nove | Barbara Parmet |
Susan Sironi |
Elizabeth Tobias | Meeson Pae Yang
Panel Discussion and Opening Reception with curators Lisa Randall and Lia Halloran
and Peter Mays, executive director of the Los Angeles Art Association
Thursday, November 3, 6 pm
Followed by the performance "Let Them Eat Cupcakes" by Elizabeth Tobias
Gallery talk by Susan Sironi
Friday, November 4, 11 am
Felicity Nove, Measurements of Space in a Fractal Structured Vacuum, installation view
Measure for Measure is an unprecedented all-media exhibition conceptualized and curated by globally renowned Harvard physicist Dr. Lisa Randall. Celebrated artist Lia Halloran co-curated this innovative project. Los Angeles-based artists Zig Gron, Katrina McElroy, Felicity Nove, Barbara Parmet, Susan Sironi, Elizabeth Tobias and Meeson Pae Yang created new and experimental works through a collaborative process with the curators, and the exhibition debuted in 2010 at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles.
Measure for Measure is an exploration of the concept of scale through contemporary art expression. Randall and Halloran’s curatorial vision explains how the concept of scale plays an important role both in understanding the makeup of the universe and in how we perceive it. Objects can repeat themselves at different sizes, or entirely new worlds can open at different lengths. In science, we find very different elements and laws of nature when we study objects on small and large scales. In art we explore the experience and perceptions of size that we can see and make tangible both physically and visually. Conceptual investigations of size begin with objects we see around us that relate to the human body in visual distances and then explode outward to the vast extent of the universe and inward to the microscopic, at sometimes abstracted, and challenging-to-conceive levels. Although the range between these two boundaries is conceptually dramatic, artists have many ways to show relationship, consistency and parallels in structure and form that are worlds away in size. Our relationship to scale can make us question and perceive the world in new and various ways.
Measure for Measure investigates how we reinvigorate our thoughts and expand our perceptions when recognizable objects and spaces in architecture and nature are viewed in from different vantage points or are shifted in scale.
Measure for Measure is made possible with support from the Provostial Fund for Arts and Humanities at Harvard University. The gallery talk by Susan Sironi is co-sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the History of the Book Seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center.
Elizabeth Tobias, performance, "Let Them Eat Cupcakes"
PERFORMANCE: ELIZABETH TOBIAS "Let Them Eat Cupcakes"
Thursday, November 3
following the panel discussion
A customized emergency shelter houses a make-shift gallery where viewers are immersed in an intimate experience of The Cupcake Project, a multi-location social experiment and performance piece addressing the rampant scale of hunger and poverty in the United States. A limited quantity of books will be available for viewing. For the exhibit opening, free cupcakes will be served.
Susan Sironi, Actual Size - A Self_Portrait in Four Parts, (left) installation view (right) detail
GALLERY TALK: SUSAN SIRONI speaks on her work
Friday, November 4, 11 am
Sironi will discuss her work on view in Measure for Measure, including the installation Actual Size - A Portrait In Four Parts, a series of classic illustrated books altered by carving into them actual size tracings of Sironi's hand, foot, profile and cross section of her neck. Co-sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the History of the Book Seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center.
Main Gallery Exhibition Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
video projection, QuickTime movie loop
Scales uses a repetition of images to explore matters of physical scale, depth perception, connectivity, technological advances and evolutionary trends.
Measurements of Space in a Fractal Structured Vacuum
Convex mirrors and acrylic on wall, 10 x 32 feet
My artistic process for Measure for Measure was similar to any basic scientific research—the central question being "what happens if you do this?" The answer is not predetermined… the same in science as in art. The convex mirrors suggest the fractal behavior within nature. The mirrors acted as a fractal analogy and the geometry as mathematical equations. It is through these highly organized fractal systems that structures like plants, ferns, trees, nervous systems, cell development—"the seed of life—are generated. Exploring the notion of an "event horizon", I wanted to create the illusion of an expanding form. In contemplating space, I created paint pours reminiscent of supernova explosions and black holes on the Hubble website. Something started to happen when I observed the convex mirrors appearing to push images away, in conjunction with the advancing yellow, and this created a kind of expansion and contraction.
Migratory Micro-Rhythm, 2011
2,233 modified video stills, printed on vinyl
In Migratory Micro-Rhythm, thousands of circles comprise the whole. From a distance, these particles are systematically organized and fluid. However, each of these individual units, when observed at closer proximity, contains a larger world in which variety, abstraction and randomness exist. Similar observations can be made in migration, from molecular diffusion to the seasonal journeys of animals and insects. At a microscopic or individual level randomness and diversity exist whereas the macro level is uniform and systematic. The dichotomy of scale in this installation forces viewers to physically move in order to perceive both the larger and smaller picture, thus becoming part of the migration themselves.
Redwood with Floating Pine Needles
One-of-a-kind composite, chromogenic print
on Hahnemuhle rag paper, 49 x 122 inches
Observing and contemplating a Sequoia sempervirens, or coast redwood, with three cameras and seven lenses of various optical lengths, has made me hyper-aware of the way scale is often taken for granted as we perceive our surroundings. Although this plant species is the largest on earth, you can observe the six inch shoot that is pushing up at the base. With the wide-angle view, you can take in the overall environment of wild ginger leaves at your feet as well as some nearby sycamores and oaks overhead. With close-up lenses, it is possible to look at bark configurations as well as foliage lying on the ground. The view seen with a telephoto lens of tree bark at 200 feet is blown up to a scale not usually available to the human eye. If you look closely at the composite print with over 75 photographs incorporated into the final image, you may even see pine needles floating down from the forest canopy. These magnificent beings are at a human scale we can touch and comprehend visually in relation to our own bodies.
Actual Size - A Portrait in Four Parts
My work for Measure for Measure began by re-reading and then using as source materials the classic books Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, and Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The illustrated books were then altered by incorporating/carving into them actual size tracings of my hand, foot, profile and cross section of my neck. There is a scaled down chair and table with popular culture books that all relate to human scale. Also I have altered a cookbook where recipes are removed, cut into smaller fragments and put into salt and pepper shakers and then labeled so you can read what's inside. Individually or as a group each item mixes the real with the imagined using scale as the point of departure, leaving the viewer to place themselves somewhere between the two.
Let Them Eat Cupcakes
Performance and Installation
Installation: 10 x 15 foot customized emergency shelter, lanterns, bean bags, books and index cards, 2011
The Cupcake Project: Art, science and the human condition have consistently been central themes of my fine art work, community outreach and graduate studies in mental health. ”Let them Eat Cupcakes” (The Cupcake Project) created for Measure for Measure, combines performance, outreach and installation to create an intoxicating and sobering commentary about the scale of hunger in Los Angeles, the second wealthiest city in America, where currently one million residents are in need of food assistance. A Universal Declaration on Human Rights mandated by the UN over 50 years ago granted "all people the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food...” But for 1 in 10 residents in Los Angeles, these rights are becoming increasingly inaccessible as working class families continue to suffer casualties from the economic downturn. To address and discuss hunger, I have baked and given away over 500 free cupcakes on street corners from Skid Row to Beverly Hills. Along the way I have met homeless children, single mothers, city officials, transgendered, police officers, aspiring athletes and countless more individuals, whose stories I bring back to the gallery on individually hand-written index cards, which narrate the hardships they face, or communicate personal reflections about the hunger epidemic. The cupcake is both an iconic symbol of celebration and an ironic reference to the fancy cakes given to peasants by the aristocracy during the great French famine. Working within the framework of “scale” allowed me to approach a polemic as devastating as hunger in the hopes of better understanding the immense gap between extreme excess and extreme need within my community. For the Carpenter Center, I have customized an emergency shelter to provide viewers with an intimate experience of the project. The yellow structure silently encases the encounters and conversations I had throughout Los Angeles. Traditionally a symbol of danger, hope and remembrance, yellow also represents the third energy center in the human body, which governs the stomach and other organs that comprise the digestive system.
MEESON PAE YANG
Engraved Plexiglas, monofilament, hardware
Structures is an installation exploring diatoms. Diatoms are a group of algae that make up a large component of the earth's biota (about 90% of all living organisms in the ocean). Although diatoms are small in scale, their influence is magnified by life cycles and the food chain. For this reason, diatom communities are a popular tool for monitoring conditions of the environment. Structures is an exploration of scale in terms of size and scale in terms of magnitude.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists, Randall
studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University. Her research connects theoretical insights to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties and interactions of matter. She has developed and studied a wide variety of models to address these questions, the most prominent involving extra dimensions of space. Her work has involved improving our understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics, supersymmetry, baryogenesis, cosmological inflation, and dark matter. Randall’s research also explores ways to experimentally test and verify ideas and her current research focuses in large part on the Large Hadron Collider and dark matter searches and models.
She has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances. Her book Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions was included in the New York Times' 100 notable books of 2005. Randall has also recently pursued art-science connections, writing a libretto for Hypermusic: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes that premiered in the Pompidou Center in Paris and co-curating an art exhibit Measure for Measure for the Los Angeles Arts Association.
Halloran is a painter and photographer who lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Fine Art at Chapman University. Halloran’s work explores ideas and concepts of physics and is often in dialogue with the perception of time and scale in both painting and photography. Her work from the series ‘Dark Skate’ was included in the exhibition Haunted at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain this year. Halloran also works in an art collaborative with the NY architecture BigPrototype firm under the name “Collider” creating sculptures and installations. She received her MFA from Yale in 2001 and her BFA from UCLA in 1999. She is represented by DCKT Contemporary in New York where she had solo exhibitions in 2010, 2008 and 2006 and in Los Angeles by Martha Otero Gallery. She has also had solo exhibitions at Pulse (London), Artisphere (Arlington, VA) Frederic Snitzer Gallery (Miami, FL), La Montagne Gallery (Boston, MA), 101 California Street Gallery, (San Francisco, CA), and Sandroni Rey Gallery (Los Angeles, CA). Her work is included in permanent collections including the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Speyer Collection, NY, and the Progressive Art Collection.